The engineers assessed the building2 weeks ago and say they found that its state was not as dire as orginally thought.
A report has been furnished which states that a rental income of up to $100,000 could be expected from the barn upon refurbishment. Rental is still being negotiated between the tenant City line and the HCC. City Line is being asked to contribute $350,000 towards upgrade.
However even if recommendations are passed, it will most likely face opposition from several councillors.
Max Shierlaw Western Ward Representative (Normandale) says saving the barn is a waste of money, and wants the council to think hard about spending up to $3m on its upgrade and landscaping the bay.
“Just because its historic it doesn’t mean it needs to be restored” he says. “At the end of the day theres pressure on the budget, and we’ve all these requests for spending. you can’t just keep adding and adding without taking other things away”.
Cr Shierlaw also questions how much of the Eastbourne community supports an upgrade to the bus barn. He believes the issue was hijacked by vocal minority who want to get back at HCC.
Work on landscaping the bay is due to start shortly.
My opinion is that this area needs work, it is access to the Pencarrow coastal walk which is extremely attractive as a recreational option especially in summer both by walkers and mountain bikers. As for the Bus Barn at $2.2m seems a lot, a return of $100k does not add up in my eyes, but no doubt that providing bus shelter is hugely beneficial to City Line and regional transport hubs, that no doubt has been factored into this development.